Models must have a voice, Graham says
Ashley Graham is adamant new models breaking into the industry need to be more than just “a pretty face.”
The curvy model is one of the hottest names in the business and has recently landed gigs for the likes of Lane Bryant, Revlon andRag&Bone.
Graham, 30, has also created a swimwear line in partnership with Swimsuits For All and denim capsule collection for Marina Rinaldi, and has now shared how important it is for rising stars to diversify in order to have longevity in fashion.
“You can’t just be a pretty face,” she told The New York Times. “You can’t just be a hot body. It’s really about being a businesswoman. It’s about having a voice. It’s about what are you doing to change your world and leave a legacy and a mark for the next generation.”
Graham went on to say she finds it disappointing that it’s always the same fashion designers that cast plus-size models for Fashion Week presentations.
“We’re left with probably Michael Kors, Christian Siriano, Tome, Chromat. Oh, Alexander McQueen had two curvy girls. And that’s it,” Graham said.
“If you really think about it, there really aren’t a lot of designers that are putting curvy women in their shows. But if you think about it glass half full, there’s never been designers that put curvy girls in their show.”
As very few curvy models get hired for shows, Graham often feels there’s more pressure on her as she needs to represent a “whole community.”
And she thinks models sized between a 4 and a 12 struggle most to get gigs.
“When you’re a straight-size model, you have to be between a size 0 and a size 4,” Graham said. “When you’re curvy, you have to be between a size 12 and a 16 in order to get the great work. So it’s those girls that are in between ... where are the jobs for them?”